3 Things That Surprised Me About Paris
I recently returned from a trip to Paris. I had been to the south of France many times during my military career but I had never made it up to Paris. There were three things about Paris and Parisians that really surprised me.
#1 – The Amount of People That Smoke in Public
I was really surprised by the sheer amount of people that smoke in public places in Paris. I am not passing judgement or saying it's a bad thing –– it just really surprised me. It's so taboo in the United States now that it just took me by surprise to see it so often in Paris.
#2 – The Neighborhood Near the Eiffel Tower is Pretty Dead
I really wanted to stay in a neighborhood with access to the city, culture, great food and night life. When I found a good deal on a hotel near the Eiffel Tower I jumped on it. I assumed that the Champs de Mars neighborhood, where the Eiffel Tower is located, would be a vibrant, happening neighborhood. While it was beautiful, it was pretty dead most of the day and almost abandoned at night. If I had it to do all over again I would stay in a more vibrant and culturally happening neighborhood like the Latin Quarter, Montmartre, South Pigalle or Belleville-Menilmontant.
#3 – How Friendly Parisians Are
There seems to be this stereotype of the rude Parisian. That stereotype just didn't play out during my time in Paris. No one was rude or seemed annoyed by this American dude running around Paris with his Sony A6500 on a Zhiyun Crane gimbal asking anyone that looked interesting if he could film them or take their picture. I had no negative experiences with Parisians. As a matter a fact––it was quite the opposite––everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I'm not sure why that stereotype persists but I think it's just plain incorrect.
Oh wait a second, I take that back! As you can see by the expressions on their faces––these two little Parisians were not impressed by my Instagram subscriber total––HOW RUDE!